Archives:The Magic of Your Dial: Amos Joel and the Advent of Electronic Telephone Switching

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Profile of Amos Joel (1918-2008), recipient of the Kyoto Prize, member of the National Academy of Engineering, and winner of the IEEE Medal of Honor. During the half century from the 1930s to early 1980s, Amos Joel devoted his professional career to the design of telephone switching systems. "Knowing a lot about one thing, namely switching," worked better for him than knowing" a little about a lot of things" like some other engineers. But he also adapted himself to emerging new technologies and had the ability to see switching as part of a larger technological system. He continued to demonstrate this perspective even in retirement, as for example his recent patent on the emerging technology of photonic switching.

See also Amos Joel Oral History (1992) for more information on Joel's career, and Amos Joel Oral History (1993) for a discussion by Joel on the overall history of telephone switching.

Citation and Link to Full Profile

Frederik Nebeker, "The Magic ofYour Dial: Amos Joel and the Advent of Electronic Telephone Switching," in Sparks of Genius: Portraits of Electrical Engineering Excellence (Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1994), 233-268.